Posted under The Rectory Bulletin
For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5)
Towards the top of Clee Hill, on the southern edge of the Shropshire Hills, lies the (very) small village of Hope Bagot. It is a relentlessly beautiful place, a scattering of houses around an ancient church which itself sits in the middle of a circular churchyard. The Saxon tower of the church sits on Roman millstones, still visible at each corner. Inside, the nave is separated from the chancel by a small Norman arch whilst gently leans down the hill.
Outside is a yew tree which - according to a piece of paper singed by David Bellamy so it must be true - dates back more than two thousand years. The circumference of this massive tree measures over twenty-four feet, and its branches form a natural cave. At the bottom of the hill is a holy well which, by repute, is rather good for eye ailments.
This site speaks of the many ways in which humans have sought to relate to God. The yew tree is hung with dozens of ribbons, and is a pagan site. The holy well was to the medieval village a source of God’s blessing. The beautiful countryside speaks to those who find God in nature, and the antiquity of the church resonates with those who find the past an enchanted land.
Yet for all this, there is only one way in which we can relate to God, and that is through ‘the man Christ Jesus’. It is he who brought human and divine together, and opened up for us a “new and living way” to come before God" (Hebrews 6:20).
And so you can come before God now - wherever you are - without the need of yew trees, wells and even ancient church buildings. So pray.